I was first diagnosed with depression in autumn 2009 following major surgery. After a few months of antidepressants it passed and I was convinced I’d been cured – until 2016.
The tiredness, that overwhelming, debilitating tiredness, came first. Then came the feeling that I could no longer do anything effectively, especially my job. I felt numb and empty, so the G.P. prescribed more antidepressants and time off work.
By January 2017 I was in a psychiatric clinic trying what seemed like every medication invented. And February saw me having sessions of ECT, which seemed to work. Feeling more like the old me, I discharged myself in March, and yet again thought I was cured.
No longer me
Now it is autumn 2017 and it has all come back again. I am on five different medications and facing the possibility of inpatient care at the psychiatric clinic in the coming weeks. My life has changed and I no longer feel like me. It is almost an out-of-body experience where I can see the old me but cannot reach out to her.
I no longer want to socialise. Most days I manage to get up and go to work but when I get home I am so exhausted I have to rest in order to get up again the next day. Weekends are spent in bed or on the sofa resting and Netflix has become my best friend. I have put on weight and no longer enjoy many of my old pastimes, e.g. reading, as my concentration levels are so poor.
Recently someone at work asked me how I spend my evenings. For the first time I replied honestly, and the realisation hit me. I am no longer living; instead I am existing while I wait for this episode to pass. I understand that I will never be cured, but I hope I will have times where the depression releases its hold on me and I will begin living again.